Stuffed zucchini

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PRESENTATION

Live from Sunday lunch, an unbeatable classic on our tables: stuffed zucchini! Digitally-savvy grandmas can share their versions online, usually hidden in the family recipe books, and maybe reveal a few secrets or tricks to make it easier to prepare. As tradition dictates, no part of the zucchini goes to waste, and this recipe is proof of that: The flesh, once removed, is used to flavor the meat stuffing and the zucchini itself forms a little holder for the tasty filling. For the finishing touch, the top is used as a nice lid for the zucchini, giving it a shape that recalls an old-fashioned sugar bowl. Cute, but above all delicious, stuffed zucchini are a classic of Italian homemade cooking that we can’t resist! Here, we have Manuel’s recipe for you.

INGREDIENTS
Ingredients for 4 stuffed zucchini
Round zucchini 4 - (½ lb (250 g) each)
Pork ¼ lb (100 g) - ground
Pork sausage ¼ lb (100 g)
Eggs 1 - medium
Parmigiano Reggiano DOP cheese ¼ cup (30 g) - grated
Parsley 1 tbsp - chopped
Black pepper to taste
Bread 0.7 oz (20 g) - crumb only
Fine salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
Preparation

How to prepare Stuffed zucchini

To prepare the stuffed zucchini, wash the zucchini under running water 1, dry them with a clean cloth 2, and cut off the top to form the lid 3.

Score the inner perimeter with a small knife, then make an X in the flesh and remove one segment at a time 4. Next, scoop out the inside using a melon baller or teaspoon 5, creating a shell around ?” (1 cm) thick. This way, you’ll have both the lids and the shells ready to be stuffed. Season the insides of the zucchini with salt 6,

then arrange them upside down on a tray lined with paper towel so they lose their liquid 7. In the meantime, prepare the filling: Place the ground pork in a bowl and add the sausage with the skin already removed 8. Then add the grated Parmigiano cheese 9,

the chopped zucchini flesh, the egg, lightly beaten 10, and the crumb of the bread, chopped up 11. Now add the chopped parsley 12, season with salt and pepper,

and stir to combine until you get an even mixture 13. Grease a deep baking pan with a good glug of oil 14. Take the well-drained zucchini and fill each one to the brim with the meat filling 15.

Arrange the stuffed zucchini inside the pan with their lids 16 and bake in a conventional oven preheated to 320°F (160°C) for around 60 minutes (285°F (140°C) for around 50 minutes in a convection oven); you can remove the lids before the 60 minutes are up if they’ve softened and have taken on some color, while the stuffed zucchini filling will need to turn golden and crispy on top 17. Once they’re ready, take your stuffed zucchini out of the oven and serve them hot or at room temperature, together with their lids 18!

Storage

Store the stuffed zucchini in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. You can freeze them if the ingredients you used were all fresh, i.e., not defrosted.

Tips

There are lots of different variations on the stuffed zucchini filling; you can let your imagination run wild and change the type of meat used or even use canned tuna fillets in oil instead!